Eighth-graders recognized at VFW dinner


By Lenny C. Lepola - newsguy@ee.net



Winners of this year’s Big Walnut Middle School “Patriot’s Pen” essay contest and their families were honored during a luncheon at Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 8736 last Sunday afternoon. From left are Post 8736 Auxiliary member and Patriot’s Pen chair Joan Pickett, eighth-graders Kaylee Swank and Moira Elliot, middle school language arts teacher Mike McGann, eighth-graders Morgan Schull and Willem Hoyles, and middle school language arts teacher Erin Barr. Hoyles’ essay, “The Luxury of Freedom,” placed first; Swank, Schull and Elliot were runners-up.


Lenny C. Lepola | News

Winning essay

“The Luxury of Freedom”

By Willem Hoyles

As Americans, we sometimes fail to understand that our lives are very luxurious. As we lead these lives without the fear of harm directed at us from opposing forces, we must realize that this privilege is protected by the freedoms that we gain as citizens. This freedom lets us openly speak our mind and protest the unjust. It ensures all of us that we will not be differentiated against based on the color of our skin, the clothes we wear, or what we believe as a people. Our freedom makes sure that we will not be subjected to discriminatory rule. Most importantly, it assures us that our welfare is genuine.

However, many do not understand how vastly privileged we Americans truly are. Therefore, we cannot forget that the ones who provide our freedoms are the ones who protect our country day in and day out: our nation’s soldiers. These heroes work tirelessly, relentlessly and selflessly to guarantee that the safety of our people is unquestionably certifiable. Many never stop to think about the terrors we may have had to face if these soldiers had not been with us every step of the way, guarding us from any threat that may have crossed our path. And yet, these valiant guards do not cease in their duties.

Throughout its history, this country has witnessed many conflicts that may have jeopardized its well-being. From the battlefields of the Revolutionary War, to the trenches of World War I, and even to the current War on Terror, our nation’s troops have had the immense courage to brave through and defeat these forces that oppose us. The outstanding amount of bravery required to become a defender of this country is almost incomprehensible to those who are sheltered by their protection. These fine soldiers are the sole reason that we as Americans can proudly say that we live in the greatest country in the world.

Freedom is a prominent factor in the way we live our daily lives. Without it, the privileges that make our country so spectacular would be revoked. This is a consequence any American would be unwilling to face. In conclusion, I believe that we should show the veterans of the United States Armed Forces the respect that is long overdue. They’ve truly showed us the endurance of the human spirit.

Willem Hoyles has won this year’s “Patriot’s Pen” essay competition with his essay “The Luxury of Freedom.”

Runners-up were Kaylee Swank, Morgan Schull and Moira Elliot.

Hoyles, Swank, Schull, Elliot and their families were honored during a luncheon at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8736 last Sunday afternoon.

Every year, Big Walnut Middle School eighth-grade students have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. One of the most memorable experiences of their visit is to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

For years, eighth-grade students have represented the Big Walnut community’s appreciation to those who gave the ultimate price while serving their country by placing a Big Walnut wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Students earn that right by participating in Patriot’s Pen, a nationwide VFW essay competition.

“In September of 2009, VFW Post 8736 Auxiliary member Joan Pickett invited us to participate in the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen essay contest, and since then we have established and maintained a strong partnership,” said middle school eighth-grade language arts teacher Mike McGann. “As a result, over 2,000 Big Walnut students have written an essay about patriotism, 28 students have been chosen by VFW Post 8736 to place a Big Walnut wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and around $5,000 in scholarship money has been awarded.”

McGann said winning essays are not based on a letter grade for correct writing skills, but are based on the meaning behind the writing.

“The VFW has provided our students with an authentic writing experience,” McGann said. “Our eighth-graders are not just writing for themselves or their teachers; they are writing for our local heroes.”

Winners of this year’s Big Walnut Middle School “Patriot’s Pen” essay contest and their families were honored during a luncheon at Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 8736 last Sunday afternoon. From left are Post 8736 Auxiliary member and Patriot’s Pen chair Joan Pickett, eighth-graders Kaylee Swank and Moira Elliot, middle school language arts teacher Mike McGann, eighth-graders Morgan Schull and Willem Hoyles, and middle school language arts teacher Erin Barr. Hoyles’ essay, “The Luxury of Freedom,” placed first; Swank, Schull and Elliot were runners-up.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2016/03/web1_BWMS.VFW_.01.a.jpgWinners of this year’s Big Walnut Middle School “Patriot’s Pen” essay contest and their families were honored during a luncheon at Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 8736 last Sunday afternoon. From left are Post 8736 Auxiliary member and Patriot’s Pen chair Joan Pickett, eighth-graders Kaylee Swank and Moira Elliot, middle school language arts teacher Mike McGann, eighth-graders Morgan Schull and Willem Hoyles, and middle school language arts teacher Erin Barr. Hoyles’ essay, “The Luxury of Freedom,” placed first; Swank, Schull and Elliot were runners-up. Lenny C. Lepola | News

By Lenny C. Lepola

newsguy@ee.net

Winning essay

“The Luxury of Freedom”

By Willem Hoyles

As Americans, we sometimes fail to understand that our lives are very luxurious. As we lead these lives without the fear of harm directed at us from opposing forces, we must realize that this privilege is protected by the freedoms that we gain as citizens. This freedom lets us openly speak our mind and protest the unjust. It ensures all of us that we will not be differentiated against based on the color of our skin, the clothes we wear, or what we believe as a people. Our freedom makes sure that we will not be subjected to discriminatory rule. Most importantly, it assures us that our welfare is genuine.

However, many do not understand how vastly privileged we Americans truly are. Therefore, we cannot forget that the ones who provide our freedoms are the ones who protect our country day in and day out: our nation’s soldiers. These heroes work tirelessly, relentlessly and selflessly to guarantee that the safety of our people is unquestionably certifiable. Many never stop to think about the terrors we may have had to face if these soldiers had not been with us every step of the way, guarding us from any threat that may have crossed our path. And yet, these valiant guards do not cease in their duties.

Throughout its history, this country has witnessed many conflicts that may have jeopardized its well-being. From the battlefields of the Revolutionary War, to the trenches of World War I, and even to the current War on Terror, our nation’s troops have had the immense courage to brave through and defeat these forces that oppose us. The outstanding amount of bravery required to become a defender of this country is almost incomprehensible to those who are sheltered by their protection. These fine soldiers are the sole reason that we as Americans can proudly say that we live in the greatest country in the world.

Freedom is a prominent factor in the way we live our daily lives. Without it, the privileges that make our country so spectacular would be revoked. This is a consequence any American would be unwilling to face. In conclusion, I believe that we should show the veterans of the United States Armed Forces the respect that is long overdue. They’ve truly showed us the endurance of the human spirit.

Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.

Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.